WATCH: A $90,000 cleanup is underway at Tod Inlet to rejuvenate the marine habitat. Isabelle Raghem reports.
A $90,000 cleanup is underway at Tod Inlet to rejuvenate the marine habitat.
A large bag contains a portion of the debris that divers pulled from the ocean floor Friday morning.
Among the collected items is a large metal basket, metal tanks and other debris that has likely been underwater for decades.
The project is being led by the SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, in partnership with B.C. Parks and Tsartlip First Nation.
“Over the years, there’s been a lot that’s fallen to the bottom of the inlet,” says Sarah Vestegen the Operations Manager for the project.
“Fifty years ago? Just throw it over, that’s what we did.”
The Inlet is the site of a long history of damage, dating back to the early 1900’s.
That’s when ‘Vancouver Portland Cement Company’ operated a manufacturing facility at the location where Butchart Gardens now stands.
“Most boaters aren’t going to throw their garbage overboard, but we still have an accumulation of how we [used to do] this,” says Vestegen.
The Conservation Society says the debris has caused an unwanted spike in jellyfish — an aquatic animal that eats large amounts of plankton — which as a result, reduces the food source for salmon.
The clean up will also help with the eventual recovery of plants such as eel grass on the ocean floor, which is important nursery for young salmon and trout.
The next stage will be a beach restoration project that will begin in a few weeks.